How do you begin to tell a story of a man that will forever be in your heart that touched your life and that of your family? Actually it is quite simple really because it was true and honest with loads of respect and love. Willie was a sportsman with morals; he never hid his love for people, he never hid his love for God.
Growing up in Mayfair, in the 50’s and 60’s, was a wonderful childhood, meeting ‘Uncle’ Willie – as he was affectionately known to all of us – was an honour and a privilege. His fame as a fighter never stopped him from being humble and righteous.
We prayed together before every gym session began, we prayed together at the end of every session. On fight night in the change room we prayed before and after each fight. Everyone was included no one was excluded. Pray became part of us.
In times of crisis amongst the first to arrive was Willie to comfort you. He laughed with you and he cried with you. Most evident was Willie’s way of protecting you. He loved you like his own; he treated you like his own. The ‘Amour’ he wore in life was the amour of love and respect for his fellow man.
When fighting outside of your province or your country the first ‘Port of Call’ for Willie was to find his church. To know him was to love him. He had this way of arriving when most needed, out of the blue, as if he was sent. Willie was a special man.
His impact on me and my family is evident today as he touched our lives in so many ways. May his Dear Soul forever Rest in Peace.